- The true cost of the bank bailout: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/economy/the-true-cost-of-the-bank-bailout/3309/
- China’s solar subsidies: http://www.oregonlive.com/today/index.ssf/2012/05/china_plans_yet_more_solar_sub.html
- U.S. Solar Subsidies from the U.S. Energy Information Administration: http://www.eia.gov/analysis/requests/subsidy/
- Federal loan to Solyndra: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solyndra
Since Dave and I founded SPR 5 years ago, something that comes up in conversation often is how much misinformation there is regarding solar power and how much the U.S. government spends on it. To put things in perspective, we compared the cost of the Iraq war to investment in different energy sources several years ago.
Now, after being annoyed enough that the House of Representatives are so brazen as to not just write, but pass a “No More Solyndras” bill, it was high time to provide some more much needed perspective.
There was not even a peep out of the House of Representatives to move toward a full audit of all the U.S. government’s expenditures and promises toward the bank bailouts just two years ago, initial tabulations by individuals at Bloomberg as reported by PBS have put the full costs of those bailouts at $12.8 Trillion dollars. That dwarfs the publicly reported figure of $700 Billion dollars for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
It took the courage of a man who is now dead to sue the Federal Reserve to get insight into where all those trillions upon trillions of dollars actually went. We didn’t hear much about that story, as it seemed not too many members of congress cared enough to look into it further.
Instead, they’d rather declare all out war against investing in solar energy across the country, when compared to these other monstrous obligations is flat out laughable. See for yourself the full estimated costs of the bailout.
Above, you saw our chart. This compares the total cost of those bank bailouts (including TARP) to the amount of subsidy and investment China has committed to developing solar energy technology, compared to the amount of solar subsidies the U.S. has committed to, against finally the cost of Solyndra (the dead horse effigy all our Republican friends making a point to pour as much oil on as possible).
We’ve written before about the effects of China, and how much more solar investment would be required here to even to jump in the pool to compete.
Outlawing investment in solar innovation just winds back the clock further and protects the wallet lining of those who should frankly be in jail instead of shrugging like Atlas.
Last modified: March 4, 2020